Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced that thousands of Pennsylvanians will begin receiving an extra $300 per week in unemployment payments starting this week. The extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is part of the federal stimulus that Congress passed last month.
“This boost in unemployment benefits is vital to hardworking Pennsylvania families who have lost their income as a result of the global pandemic,” said Berrier. “I am pleased that L&I was able to work with the federal Department of Labor (DOL) to get the information needed to quickly restart this program and get payments into the pockets of Pennsylvanians in need.”
The $300 is automatically added to each claimants’ payment; they do not need to apply. Approximately 127,000 claimants in the Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs will receive the $300 FPUC boost as soon as Tuesday. The program runs the claim weeks ending January 2, 2021 to March 13, 2021. There is no additional cost to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.
L&I is still awaiting additional information from the federal DOL on the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs. Because of program changes made in the federal CARES Act extension, this information is necessary to ensure L&I follows the law. When payments resume, the department will backdate eligible claims to the week of Jan. 2 and add on the FPUC to ensure claimants do not miss out on any eligible weeks.
“L&I urged Congress to fund the extra payment in the stimulus bill and we’re happy that thousands of workers in need will start getting the extra boost in a few days,” said Berrier. “We are also focused on the nearly half-million PUA and PEUC claimants who still waiting.
“We’re urging the federal Department of Labor to give us the information we need to make the required changes to the program. Once we get it, we’ll work as quickly as possible to get the extra $300 weekly payments to people in the PUA and PEUC programs.”
Currently, claimants of the PUA and PEUC programs are unable to file claims for weeks after Dec. 26. These claimants should not open a new claim. The ability to file for these weeks will be added when L&I is able to start accepting them.
The federal DOL has not provided a timeline on when the final and complete guidance will arrive. When L&I has an estimate on when payments for the PEUC and PUA programs will resume, an announcement will be made and claimants will be contacted.